Ten years ago I wrote a song called Thinking Of You. “There comes a time to draw the line but I can’t stop thinking of you”: that was the hook.
I had become fed up with being identified by what had happened to my dad. I remember feeling that I’d become ‘the guy that lost his dad on 9/11’, that was why the media wanted to talk to me, of course, not because of my music.
Nineteen years ago today the world changed. For a lot of people, particularly in the west, 9/11 was a big news item that dominated the headlines for a while. Shocking but we moved on. For many, they saw the consequences when they travelled abroad, security at airports was stepped up and it was, for most, simply an inconvenience.
For some, there were connections, memories, friends of friends and for a few, it was personal. We lost relatives and close friends. On the other side of the world, in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting lives would change dramatically because of 9/11.
For most of the west, it was just another news story. 9/11 changed the world and as much as I try to move on, draw the line, it’s always there in the background.
On a very personal level, I miss my dad. I can’t pretend we had a cozy relationship, things between us had been tough but we were friends, getting closer and we loved each other. He often told me he was proud of my music. This was his favour song of mine.
And so, I decided to use music to try and make a difference, to try and change things.
It’s not happened as I thought it would. I’m not a protest writer but I’ve learned that honesty is important. I don’t have the answers but sometimes the question is so much more powerful in facilitating change than the answer.
After nearly 20 years of doing this, I don’t have a huge following or fan base but sometimes I get to say something for the person who doesn’t have a voice. The world is a smaller place now. The pandemic has for many of us taken the news off of our TV and planted in our lives. We wear masks just like the people in Bangladesh, Iraq, Afghanistan.
Sometimes change doesn’t have to be big to make a difference. The tiniest seed of love turns a persons world around. Understanding the question rather than having the answer, stopping and listening rather than rushing off to fix everything.
Perhaps that’s the difference I’m supposed to make.
Sent from my iPad